If you’re looking for something to add to your summer to-do list alongside “wash smelly ballet bag,” or “burn heinous recital costume,” consider adding “apply to prestigious national arts competition” as a line item. Now through October 11, the National YoungArts Foundation is accepting applications for its annual YoungArts competition.
Each year, the foundation seeks out talented teenagers between 15–18 in order to honor their creative capabilities in categories like writing, theater, film and, most excitingly, dance. And in case you high school bunheads are worried that hip-hop or modern dance might be the focus of the dance category, note that former YoungArts finalists include Royal Ballet principal Sarah Lamb, American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane, Royal New Zealand Ballet principal Katharine Precourt and countless other ballet stars around the world.
Besides joining the ranks of notable YoungArts alumni, winners have the chance to attend regional workshops in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Selected finalists are even given the opportunity to attend National YoungArts Week at the foundation’s campus in Miami, an all-expenses-paid week of workshops and master classes with artistic legends, which in the past have included ballet greats like Mikhail Baryshnikov and Wendy Whelan.
Throughout the week, finalists perform for the public, and have the chance to be considered for further recognition and monetary awards of up to $10,000. As an added bonus, a few outstanding performers at YoungArts Week are nominated each year to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts (one of the most major honors a high school senior can be given, complete with award presentations at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.)
If you’ve entered ballet competitions before, the application should be relatively simple. The video requirements only ask for a few minutes of technical work, one classical solo and one contemporary solo—and, best of all, you can apply easily online.
As long as you’re between ages 15-18, or grades 10-12, and a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident), this competition is for you. Applications opened today, and you have the whole summer ahead of you. Why not check one item off that to-do list? Learn how to apply to the 2020 YoungArts competition here.